Colloidal oatmeal is great stuff. It’s good for itching, eczema, and almost all dry skin problems. It’s in lots of commercial lotions, like Aveeno [fun fact: the botanical name for oats is Avena sativa so it seems that’s where they got that name]. I’ve mentioned many times that my eldest daughter has eczema, although it has become quite mild. She does still have somewhat sensitive skin, though, and her skin is naturally extremely dry. Lotions and creams that work on the rest of the family often don’t work on her. I wanted to make some colloidal oatmeal to use in my formulations because of her dry skin but also because my husband has been having some trouble with itchy (although not dry) skin.
Colloidal oatmeal is easy to make if you’re not making a whole bunch of it. I usually make just enough for whatever recipe I’m about to put together since it only keeps for about a week in the fridge. All you need is steel-cut oats (because they are usually the least processed), distilled water, a coffee/spice grinder, and cheesecloth. And of course, a stove and a container.
- 1-2 tablespoons of steel-cut oats
- 1 cup boiling distilled water
- Put your oats into a coffee grinder. Grind until you have a fine powder. Place it in heat resistant container (I use a Pyrex measuring cup). Add the boiling water. Whisk until combined.
- Once combined, let it sit for 5-10 minutes then whisk again.
- Strain the mixture through cheesecloth into your storage container (I use a Mason jar. Big surprise there, i know) Use right away or store in the refrigerator for up to a week.
In lotions and creams, this would be part of the water phase. Also the paste that you get in the cheesecloth is an awesome itch salve. Apply it to itchy areas and let sit then wipe off with cool cloth or mix it in with a balm and apply before showering. Safe for use on poison ivy, bug bites, rashes, whatever itches!